2008年11月17日 星期一

Shamble(s) (續:漫步在雲端 單字大集合)





1. shambles, (used with a singular or plural verb) 

a. a slaughterhouse.

b. any place of carnage

c. any scene 


destruction: to turn cities into shambles.  

d. any scene, place, 


thing in disorder: Her desk is [a] shambles


2. British Dialect. a butcher's shop or stall. 

–verb (used without object) 

1. to walk 


go awkwardly; shuffle. (拖著腳走)


2. a shambling gait


shambles (n.) 


is always plural in form but either singular or plural in construction. 

In Old English a shamble was "a bench or footstool." It developed additional senses, specializing into "a counter for displaying wares," then "a meat counter," then "a meat market," and then "a slaughterhouse

During the seventeenth century a transferred sense developed from the "slaughterhouse" meaning: "something that looks like a slaughterhouse, any blood-covered mess."

And finally in the 1920s, semantic change caused the "bloody" aspect to disappear from the most widely used sense: the meaning generalized to "a scene of general disorder and devastation"

His room was [a] shambles: nothing was picked up or put away. 

Today in that meaning the word is a hyperbole and almost a cliché.


The new Michel Gondry film, "Be Kind Rewind," is set in Passaic, New Jersey. It stars Jack Black as Jerry, a shamblinglogorrheic loser who lives in a trailer and idles his days away in a local video store owned by Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover) and staffed by the benevolent Mike (Mos Def). 


Brendan Gleeson, with that noble shambles of a face and the [heft] of a boxer gone to seed, has the key role as Ken, one of two killers for hire. His traveling [companion] and unwilling roommate is Ray (Colin Farrell), who successfully whacked a priest in [a] Dublin [confessional] 

but tragically killed a little boy in the process. Before shooting the priest, he confessed [to] the sin he was about to commit. After accidentally killing the boy, he reads the notes the lad made for his own confession. You don't know whether to laugh or cry.





any place of carnage

any scene of destruction

Brendan Gleeson, with that noble shamble[s] of a face and the [heft] of a boxer gone to seed

Tell me, Brad., what happened at Kasserine? I heard it was a shamble[s]. Apparently, everything went wrong.

after [shambling] armies of the recently-dead take over every major city -- seeking warm human flesh for food,


walk or go awkwardly, shuffle

It stars Jack Black as Jerry, a [shambling], logorrheic loser who lives in a trailer. 

to begin life not only with her husband but also with his massive and [shambling] friend Jules,


to go at a slow, easy pace, stroll, saunter

Day-Lewis—an [ambling] scarecrow under [boater] and [musty] cloth coat—is as rooted as an [oak] in his character and milieu

Tati's signature comic character [ambled] into movies with Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953), his second film.

The moral, emotional, and dramatic issues are settled, and then the movie, [reverently] chronicling Christine’s [apotheosis], ambles [on] for another forty minutes.

Later, Ethan Hawke [ambles] on set as a happy hippie, a cabinet maker who argues unconvincingly for the nonconformist life. 

Johnny and Roberto set up in a skid-row flophouse and amble into the orbit of a handsome liquor-store clerk named Walt.


draw or scribble idly   

waste (time) in aimless or foolish activity

He doodled during the whole [lecture].  


They rambled through the shops [until] closing time. 

The [vine] rambled over the walls and tree trunks. 

The speaker/writer rambled [on] with anecdote after anecdote. 

Angela's spiritual quest is taken very seriously, entitling her to manifested visions, plenty of silent [brooding], and [rambling] monologues about made-[up] rituals. 


dilatorily saunter, fritter away time working in a halfhearted way

to dawdle [over] a [task]. 

He dawdled [away] the whole [morning]. 

[Stop] dawdling and [help] me with these packages!  


spend time in a wasteful, trifling, or ineffective way, dawdle (often fol. by around )

He wasted the day piddling [around].

Glenda, you don't offer a man like Jack a drink in these piddling little bottles. Give him the bloody bottle. 


linger aimlessly

to loiter outside a [building].


loiter indecisively, delay as if free from responsibilities

to dally on the way [home]. 

How can you dally [with] such a [serious] problem?

The acceptance of the role as artistic directors of the company is not a [dalliance]


informal. (usually foll by around or about ) to wander idly 

Graham could live to be 200 years old, you'll never see him swanning [around] with famous authors. Hasn't got it in him.



walk or go aimlessly or idly or without finding or reaching one's goal

As if we weren't concerned enough after her disturbing debut as Jenny in Kids; traipsing [across] town

You've got to go traipsing all up one side along the top and down the other.


borrow (a small item or amount) without intending to return or repay it 

skulk or sneak

This is sucker bait! Every grifter and mooch in town'll be after that five grand.

So, where were you? Me? I was mooching about.


walking or traveling about, itinerant

(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to Aristotle, who taught philosophy while walking in the Lyceum of ancient Athens.

What the words "dialectic" and "peripatetic" mean.



wander about, seeking pleasure or diversion, gad.

go about with members of the opposite sex

Well he'd like us to think that he's writing a novel, but we all know he just goes out and gallivants with freshmen [women] trying to relive Jane.



walk leisurely as inclination directs, ramble, saunter, take a walk

wander or rove from place to place, roam

Hurt, playing a cocky but lazy lawyer named Ned Racine, is strolling on a pier where an exhausted band is [listlessly] playing.

After dinner, they stroll [into] the drawing room, where we glimpse a woman's purse, filled with chicken feathers and rooster claws.


to walk about or move from place to place